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Wallan’s mixed fortunes against Woodend-Hesket: Riddell District Recap

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

By Max Davies

Despite being down by 25 points early into their home match with Woodend-Hesket at the weekend, the Magpies were able to claw their way back to a two-point victory at the final siren.

The current rivalry between Wallan and the Hawks is the closest in the Riddell District competition, with the result leaving both teams tied for second on the ladder on 52 points after 11 wins each this season.

Assistant coach Spencer Mathieson said the opposition started well but was encouraged that his team was able to turn it around after quarter time.

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“It was a positive that we fought back and kept persisting when we were challenged, so that was a good sign,” he said.

“Woodend were on top in the clearances and they were kicking with a slight breeze. When we got the footy, we were just falling down at half forward and they were just getting too many easy rebounds.”

The Magpies were able to adapt to the Hawks’ defence and break through for some scoring opportunities, with captain Michael Mannix, Sean Morris, Brayden Byrne, Steven Boyall and Jacob Langborne the standouts among many contributors.

Wallan will this week travel to play Riddell, where Mathieson hoped to return the favour with a victory at Riddell, as the Pies suffered a loss to the Bombers at Greenhill Reserve earlier this season.

“We want to finish with a bit of momentum going in towards the finals,” he said.

“Winning form is good form, and we want to take that into the finals. We don’t have to rely on anyone else, we’re just looking forward to the opportunity this week and the finals after that.”

Elsewhere, Romsey came up short against top team Diggers Rest and remain sixth on the ladder, while Macedon delivered a home-game thumping to the visiting Western Rams.

The remainder of games for the final round of the season include Melton Centrals at home against Diggers Rest, as Macedon travel to Woodend-Hesket.

Emotional one-point win for Lancefield

TWO weeks ago Lancefield coach Tim Bannan said he hoped his side could ‘sneak a win’ against one of the top five sides of the Riddell District competition – and that dream came true on Saturday.

The second-last Tigers hosted fourth-placed Riddell for round 17 at the weekend and came out on top by one point – the victory a culmination of Bannan’s continued calls for a four-quarter effort and belief that a win was on the cards.

“It just comes to when we talk about belief, we showed composure with the footy, we didn’t cough it up in tough situations and we actually looked after it,” Bannan said.

“We’ve also had a few players recommitting, which is really good – the guys that were thinking about maybe going elsewhere, I think after the game it’s put a bit of a stamp on them staying because they know now that we can actually do it.”

Backline players Lukas Fellows and Lachlan Giles were among the standout performers for the match, while the Bombers struggled to contain young guns Harry Behan and Cameron Osmond.

Bannan said his players were ‘up and about’ and ‘the pub was rocking’ on Saturday night, while the victory was also an emotional one for many long-time players and supporters.

“It was pretty emotional [at the final siren],” he said.

“Especially for some of the older guys, like Matty Bowden’s played 250-odd games here and he’s never beaten Riddell so there was a bit of a tear in his eye. Three really young kids hugged him at the end of the game, and I think that set him off as well.

“I’m not a very emotional man, but walking off the ground and just looking at our players’ faces and the supporters that were in the club rooms when they sang the song, that’s where we want to be at.”

Lancefield will this weekend travel to face historic rivals Romsey for the final round of the season, with Bannan hopeful his team can carry the momentum and give themselves an opportunity to finish with five wins for the year.

Netball

A Grade netballers from Lancefield, Wallan and Romsey had contrasting fortunes compared to their respective football teams at the weekend, with finals spots on the line.

Wallan struggled in a low-scoring contest against Woodend-Hesket, losing by six goals but remain fourth on the ladder behind the Hawks.

Romsey will look to chase down Wallan for fourth position, with its win against Diggers Rest at the weekend moving them to fifth and within touching distance to fourth.

The Tigers now only have one last opportunity to secure a win for the 2023 season, after going down to Riddell.

Macedon meanwhile mirrored the success of its senior footballers to secure a 74 to 49-goal win over the Rams.

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